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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Tutoring Myths

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  • Myth #1: Tutoring means "help with homework" and is only for students with problems.

    "Tutoring is an age-old practice. The dictionary definition describes a tutor as a person who gives individual, or in some cases small group, instruction. The purpose of tutoring is to help students help themselves, or to assist or guide them to the point at which they become an independent learner, and thus no longer need a tutor."1

    That tutoring is only for students with problems is simply not a true statement. Many students that seek help from our tutoring services are students that prefer the environment that is created in the Center, comparable to study groups, which is not an indicator of a problem but rather of an interest in improvement and success.

  • Myth #2: In order to sign up for tutoring, you have to commit to a regular, weekly schedule.
  • "Tutoring can be on an as-needed basis. Many students do need consistent, regular help because they find even their daily schooling a struggle. But, many students will only schedule a session with a tutor just before a big test to clear up any last minute questions and to get a final boost of confidence." 2

  • Myth #3: Tutors need to be certified teachers
  • "Tutoring is very different from classroom teaching, and requires a very different set of skills. Teachers have a very specific job to do, and so do tutors. Teachers teach classes of students and tutors teach individual students."2

    At Minnesota State University we are certified by the College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA) to train our tutors. This helps us keep up with quality standards and best practices in tutoring.

  • Myth #4: How much you'll spend on tutoring depends on the hourly rate of the tutor, so look for the cheapest hourly rate possible.2
  • Price of tutoring is not an indicator of quality of tutoring. Rather than cost, rely on references and reviews on quality of instruction.

    At Minnesota State University tutoring is free and unlimited, the center is CRLA certified to train tutors and we have a commitment to excellence in service and quality of instruction.

  • Myth #5: You should only seek help from a tutor at the last minute and when you need serious help.
  • Never wait until the last minute to try to figure out if you understand the material or not. It is advised that you visit us at the Center for Academic Success early and as often as needed to help you succeed in your coursework. Do not wait until you need serious help. Discussing with a tutor the things you think you understand will only help you reinforce your knowledge.